Feasibility of an Evidence-Based Weight Loss Intervention for a Faith-Based, Rural, African American Population
Published Date:Oct 17 2011
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 2011; 8(6).
African Americans and rural residents are disproportionately affected by obesity. Innovative approaches to address obesity that are sensitive to the issues of rural African Americans are needed. Faith-based and community-based participatory approaches show promise for engaging racial/ethnic minorities to change health outcomes, but few faith-based weight loss interventions have used a community-based participatory approach.
A faith-based weight loss intervention in the Lower Mississippi Delta arose from a 5-year partnership between academic and community partners representing more than 30 churches and community organizations.
Community and academic partners translated the 16 core sessions of the Diabetes Prevention Program for rural, church-going African American adults. The feasibility of the lay health advisor–led delivery of the 16-week (January-May 2010), 16-session, adapted intervention was assessed in 26 participants from 3 churches by measuring recruitment, program retention, implementation ease, participant outcomes, and program satisfaction.
Twenty-two of 26 participants (85%) provided 16-week follow-up data. Lay health advisors reported that all program components were easy to implement except the self-monitoring component. Participants lost an average of 2.34 kg from baseline to 16-week follow-up, for a mean weight change of −2.7%. Participants reported enjoying the spiritual and group-based aspects of the program and having difficulties with keeping track of foods consumed. The intervention engaged community partners in research, strengthened community-academic partnerships, and built community capacity.
This study demonstrates the feasibility of delivering this adapted intervention by lay leaders through rural churches.
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